Meurs Named NC State Veterinary Medicine Interim Dean

Kathryn Meurs, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies, has been named the interim dean of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Meurs officially begins her term as interim dean on Jan. 18, 2022. 

NC State University Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden announced the appointment Wednesday. A national search for the CVM’s next dean is underway, says Arden. Current CVM Dean Paul Lunn announced in May that he will step down from his post in January, after nine years at the helm.

“I have been extremely fortunate to work with Dean Lunn for the past 10 years and have learned a great deal working with him and my phenomenal colleagues in the college,” says Meurs. “Dean Lunn is leaving the college in incredibly strong shape, and I look forward to the opportunity to help maintain the college’s positive momentum as the interim dean.”

A nomination committee has been formed, will hold its first meeting this week, and will work through the fall and spring semesters. Finalist candidate interviews and open forums are scheduled to begin in early spring 2022.

Lunn is leaving NC State to become dean of the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, his alma mater. For more information about the search for the next CVM dean, go here.

“For more than a decade, Dr. Meurs has played a large role in keeping NC State at the forefront of translational medical research, working closely with Dean Lunn every step of the way,” says Arden. “She has long championed collaborative, groundbreaking work among faculty, clinicians, students and the greater biomedical community that is a hallmark of the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a true leader in every sense of the word.”

Meurs, the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Comparative Medicine, has helped shape the CVM into the research powerhouse it is today since joining the college as a professor and associate dean in 2011. 

In 2020, the CVM received 235 grants totaling $20 million, up from $8.8 million seven years ago. Federal grants under her watch have also risen sharply, from $3.7 million in 2013 to $14 million in 2020.

Through her leadership, the CVM has made numerous impactful and lasting research partnerships with the agriculture and biotechnology industries, animal health foundations and federal organizations.

The scope of the CVM’s research has expanded as well, covering everything from combating antimicrobial resistance and understanding feline pain to repairing damaged heart tissue and treating canine osteosarcoma. 

Meurs has made interdisciplinary and translational research a priority at the CVM. She played a very active role in launching the Biomedical Partnership Center in 2017 on the college’s campus, facilitating projects between the CVM and industry, government, and other biomedical researchers, as well as clinical trial companies and entrepreneurs.

Her own ongoing groundbreaking research has identified the genetic basis for numerous feline and canine cardiac diseases, including mitral valve degeneration. Her work has refined treatment approaches for feline cardiomyopathy and long QT syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder.

Meurs is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and was named the first recipient of the Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award by the Morris Animal Foundation in 2016. She was named a distinguished professor earlier this year.

Meurs’ connection to NC State goes back 30 years. After receiving her bachelor’s degree and a DVM, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the CVM in 1990, followed by a cardiology residency at Texas A&M University, where she also earned a Ph.D. in genetics.